(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "War powers resolution: relevant documents, correspondence, reports"

w 















94th Congress 1 
2d Session / 



COMMITTEE PRINT 









THE WAR POWERS RESOLUTION 

Relevant Documents, Correspondence, Reports 



PREPARED BY THE 



SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY 
AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS 



OF THE 



COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL^ 

RELATIONS ' '\ $ F L °fy£X 



I- 

1 5 FEB 



?£>* 




^<fc 



~~--?Mn& 



1976 .-g 



JANUARY 1976 EDITION 



Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations 



63-970 O 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
WASHINGTON : 1975 



For sale by the Superintendent "f Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office 
Washington, D.C. 20408 - Price 11.40 



COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 

THOMAS E. MORGAN, Pennsylvania, Chairman 



CLEMENT J. ZABLOCKI, Wisconsin 
WAYNE L. HAYS, Ohio 
L. H. FOUNTAIN, North Carolina 
DANTE B. FASCELL, Florida 
CHARLES C. DIGQS, Jr., Michigan 
ROBERT N. C. NIX, Pennsylvania 
DONALD M. FRASER, Minnesota 
BENJAMIN S. ROSENTHAL, New York 
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana 
LESTER L. WOLFF, New York 
JONATHAN B. BINGHAM, New York 
GUS YATRON, Pennsylvania 
ROY A. TAYLOR, North Carolina 
MICHAEL HARRINGTON, Massachusetts 
LEO J. RYAN, California 
CHARLES WILSON, Texas 
DONALD W. RIEGLE, Jr., Michigan 
CARDISS COLLINS, Illinois 
STEPHEN J. SOLARZ, New York 
HELEN S. MEYNER, New Jersey 
DON BONKER, Washington 



WILLIAM S. BROOMFIELD, Michigan 
EDWARD J. DERWINSKI, Illinois 
PAUL FINDLEY, Illinois 
JOHN H. BUCHANAN, Jr., Alabama 
J. HERBERT BURKE, Florida 
PIERRE S. du PONT, Delaware 
CHARLES W. WHALEN, Jr., Ohio 
EDWARD G. BIESTER, Jr., Pennsylvania 
LARRY WINN, Jr., Kansas 
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York 
TENNYSON GUYER, Ohio 
ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO, California 



Marian A. Czarnecki, Chief of Staff 



Subcommittee on International Security and Scientific Affairs 



CLEMENT J. ZABLOCKI, Wisconsin, Chairman 



PAUL FINDLEY, Illinois 

ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO, California 



L. H. FOUNTAIN, North Carolina 
JONATHAN B. BINGHAM, New York 
CHARLES WILSON, Texas 
DONALD W. RIEGLE, Jr., Michigan 

GEOBGI K. BKRDBS, Subcommittee Staff Consultant 
DONALD K. PoRTIBR, .Minority Subcommittee Staff Consultant 

Shelly Shelton, Staff Assistant 



(H) 



FOREWORD 



House of Representatives, 
Committee on International Relations, 

Washington, D.C., January 21. 1976. 
The material contained in this volume was drawn together at the 
request of Hon. Clement J. Zablocki, chairman of the Subcommittee 
on International Security and Scientific Affairs. 

It is expected that these documents will be of assistance to the com- 
mittee and its members in their efforts to review and provide for ef- 
fective implementation of the War Powers Resolution, Public Law 
93-148. 

Thomas E. Morgan, Chairman. 
(in) 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/waresolutOOunit 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL 



House of Representatives, 
Committee on International Relations, 
Subcommittee on International Security 

and Scientific Affairs, 
Washington, D.C., January 21, 1976. 
Hon. Thomas E. Morgan, 
Chairman, Committee on International Relations, 
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C 

Dear Mr. Chairman: The War Powers Resolution was enacted 
on November 7, 1973 as Public Law 93-148. At that time it was 
cited as "historic" legislation; with the passage of time its significance 
has risen, as demonstrated by recent events. 

Because of wide interest in the resolution many relevant documents 
have gone out of print. In addition, important correspondence relating 
to compliance procedures has been written. Finally, and most im- 
portant, four reports submitted by the President in compliance with 
section 4 of the resolution have been received by Congress. 

All of these materials bear directly on the jurisdictional oversight 
responsibility for the War Powers Resolution by the Subcommittee 
on International Security and Scientific Affairs. In that connection, 
they should prove necessary and useful to the subcommittee in fulfill- 
ment of its oversight function. It is also expected that these materials 
will be helpful to the committee and the entire House in assuring the 
effective implementation of the resolution. 

For these many desirable reasons I respectfully request that the 
materials be made available in the form of a committee print. As 
always, please be assured that your favorable consideration will be 
deeply appreciated. 

With best wishes, I am, 
Sincerely yours, 

Clement J. Zablocki, 
Chairman, Subcommittee on International Security and Scientific 
Affairs. 

(V) 



CONTENTS 



Page 

Foreword in 

Letter of transmittal v 

Public Law 93-148, the War Powers Resolution 1 

Conference Report, No. 93-547, to accompany House Joint Resolution 

542, the War Powers Resolution 7 

Report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, No. 93-287, to accompany 
House Joint Resolution 542, the War Powers Resolution, together with 
minority and supplemental views 17 

Letter of July 16, 1974, to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger from 
Hon. Thomas E. Morgan, chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, and 
Hon. J. W. Fulbright, chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations 37 

Letter of September 7, 1974, to Hon. Thomas E. Morgan, chairman, Com- 
mittee on Foreign Affairs, from Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger 38 

Letter of October 7, 1974, to Hon. Thomas E. Morgan, chairman, Com- 
mittee on Foreign Affairs, from Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger 39 

Report dated April 4, 1975, from President Gerald R. Ford, to Hon. Carl 
Albert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, in compliance with 
section 4(a) (2) of the War Powers Resolution, relative to the transport 
of refugees from Danang 40 

Report dated April 12, 1975, from President Gerald R. Ford to Hon. Carl 
Albert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, in compliance with 
section 4(a) (2) of the War Powers Resolution, relative to the evacuation 
of U.S. nationals from Cambodia 42 

Report dated April 30, 1975, from President Gerald R. Ford to Hon. Carl 
Albert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, in compliance with 
section 4 of the War Powers Resolution, relative to the evacuation of 
U.S. citizens and others from South Vietnam 43 

Reported dated May 15, 1975, from President Gerald R. Ford, to Hon. Carl 
Albert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, in compliance with 
section 4(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, relative to the Mayaguez 
incident 45 

(vm 




Public Law 93-148 

93rd Congress, H. J. Res. 542 

November 7, 1973 

Joint Hesolution 

Concerning the war powers of Congress and the President. 

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled, War Powers 

Resolution. 
SHORT TITLE 

Section 1. This joint resolution may be cited as the ''War Powers 
Resolution". 

PURPOSE AND POLICY 

Sec. 2. (a) It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the 
intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and 
insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the 
President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed 
Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement 
in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the con- 
tinued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations. 

(b) Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it is specifically use prec. 
provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws neces- title 1. 
sary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers 

but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Govern- 
ment of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. 

(c) The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in- 
Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or 
into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly 
indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a 
declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a 
national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its ter- 
ritories or possessions, or its armed forces. 

CONSULTATION 

Sec. 3. The President in every possible instance shall consult with 
Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostili- 
ties or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is 
clearly indicated by the circumstances, and after every such introduc- 
tion shall consult regularly with the Congress until United States 
Armed Forces are no longer engaged in hostilities or have been removed 
from such situations. 

REPORTING 

Sec. 4. (a) In the absence of a declaration of war, in any case in 
which United States Armed Forces are introduced — 

(1) into hostilities or into situations where imminent involve- 
ment in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circum stances; 87 stat. 555 

(2) into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, 37 STAT. 556 
while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate 

solely to supply, replacement, repair, or training of such forces; 
or 

(3) in numbers which substantially enlarge United States 
Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign 
nation; 

(1) 



the President shall submit within 48 hours to the Speaker of the House 
of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a 
report, in writing, setting forth — 

( A) the ci rem instances necessitating the introduction of United 
States Armed Forces; 

(B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which 
such introduction took place: and 

(C) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or 
involvement. 

(1)) The President shall provide such other information as the 
Congress may request in the fulfillment of its constitutional responsi- 
bilities with respect to committing the Nation to war and to the use of 
United States Armed Forces abroad. 

(c) Whenever United States Armed Forces are introduced into 
hostilities or into any situation described in subsection (a) of this 
section, the President shall, so long as such armed forces continue to be 
engaged in such hostilities or situation, report to the Congress periodi- 
cally on the status of such hostilities or situation as well as on the 
sco}>e and duration of such hostilities or situation, but in no event shall 
he report to the Congress less often than once every six months. 

CONGRESSIONAL ACTION 

Sue. 5. i a ) Each report submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1) shall 
be transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to 
the President pro tempore of the Senate on the same calendar day. 
Each report so transmitted shall be referred to the Committee on 
Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and to the Committee 
on Foreign Relations of the Senate for appropriate action. If, when 
the report is transmitted, the Congress has adjourned sine die or has 
adjourned for any period in excess of three calendar days, the Speaker 
of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the 
Senate, if they deem it advisable (or if petitioned by at least 30 per- 
cent of the membership of their respective Houses) shall jointly request 
the President to convene Congress in order that it may consider the 
report and take appropriate action pursuant to this section. 

(b) Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is 
required to be submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1). whichever is 
earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed 
Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required 
to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has 
enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed 
Forces, (2) lias extended by law such sixty-day period, or (3) is 
physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the 
United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more 

than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certi- 
fies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity 
respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the 

continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about 

m prompt removal of such forces. 

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b). at any time that United States 
A lined Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the 

. Knifed Stat es, its possessions and territories without a declaration of 

STAT. '- war or specific Statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed 

by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution. 



87 STAT. 557 



CONGRESSIONAL PRIORITY PROCEDURES FOR JOINT KKSOLl TION OR BILL 

Sec. 6. (a) Any joint resolution or bill introduced pursuant to sec- 
tion 5(b) at least thirty calendar days before the expiration of the 
sixty-day period specified in such section shall be referred to the Com- 
mittee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives or the 
Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, as the case may be, and 
such committee shall report one such joint resolution or bill, together 
with its recommendations, not later than twenty-four calendar days 
before the expiration of the sixty-day period specified in such section, 
unless such House shall otherwise determine by the yeas and nays. 

(b) Any joint resolution or bill so reported shall become the pend- 
ing business of the House in question (in the case of the Senate the 
time for debate shall be equally divided between the proponents and 
the opponents) , and shall be voted on within three calendar days there- 
after, unless such House shall otherwise determine by yeas and nays. 

(c) Such a joint resolution or bill passed by one House shall be 
referred to the committee of the other House named in subsection 
(a) and shall be reported out not later than fourteen calendar days 
before the expiration of the sixty-day period specified in section 5(b). 
The joint resolution or bill so reported shall become the pending- 
business of the House in question and shall be voted on within three 
calendar days after it has been reported, unless such House shall other- 
wise determine by yeas and nays. 

(d) In the case of any disagreement between the two Houses of 
Congress with respect to a joint resolution or bill passed by both 
Houses, conferees shall be promptly appointed and the committee of 
conference shall make and file a report with respect to such resolution 
or bill not later than four calendar days before the expiration of the 
sixty-day period specified in section 5(b). In the event the conferees 
are unable to agree within 48 hours, they shall report back to their 
respective Houses in disagreement. Notwithstanding any rule in either 
House concerning the printing of conference reports in the Record or 
concerning any delay in the consideration of such reports, such report 
shall be acted on by both Houses not later than the expiration of such 
sixty-day period. 

CONGRESSIONAL PRIORITY PROCEDURES FOR CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 

Sec. 7. (a) Any concurrent resolution introduced pursuant to sec- 
tion 5(c) shall be referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the 
House of Representatives or the Committee on Foreign Relations of 
the Senate, as the case may be, and one such concurrent resolution shall 
be reported out by such committee together with its recommendations 
within fifteen calendar days, unless such House shall otherwise deter- 
mine by the yeas and nays. 

(b) Any concurrent resolution so reported shall become the pending 
business of the House in question (in the case of the Senate the time 
for debate shall be equally divided between the proponents and the 
opponents) and shall be voted on within three calendar days there- 
after, unless such House shall otherwise determine by yeas and nays. 

(c) Such a concurrent resolution passed by one House shall be 
referred to the committee of the other House named in subsection (a) 
and shall be reported out by such committee together with its recom- 
mendations within fifteen calendar days and shall thereupon become 
the pending business of such House and shall be voted upon within 



87 STAT. 558 



three calendar days, unless such House shall otherwise determine 
by yeas and nays. 

(d) In the case of any disagreement between the two Houses of 
Congress with respect to a concurrent resolution passed by both 
Houses, conferees shall be promptly appointed and the committee of 
conference shall make and file a report with respect to such concurrent 
resolution within six calendar days after the legislation is referred to 
the committee of conference. Xot withstanding any rule in either House 
concerning the printing of conference reports in the Record or con- 
cerning any delay in the consideration of such reports, such report 
shall be acted on by both Houses not later than six calendar days after 
the conference report is filed. In the event the conferees are unable to 
agree within 48 hours, they shall report back to their respective Houses 
in disagreement. 

INTERPRETATION OF JOINT RESOLUTION 

Sec. 8. (a) Authority to introduce United States Armed Forces into 
hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly 
indicated by the circumstances shall not be inferred — 

(1) from any provision of law (whether or not in effect before 
the date of the enactment of this joint resolution), including any 
provision contained in any appropriation Act, unless such pro- 
vision specifically authorizes the introduction of United States 
Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and states 
that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization 
within the meaning of this joint resolution ; or 

(2) from any treaty heretofore or hereafter ratified unless such 
treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the 
introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or 
into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute 
specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this joint 
resolution. 

(b) Nothing in this joint resolution shall be construed to require 
any further specific statutory authorization to permit members of 
United States Armed Forces to participate jointly with members of 
the armed forces of one or more foreign countries in the headquarters 
operations of high-level military commands which were establishe 1 
prior to the date of enactment of this joint resolution and pursuant to 
59 stat. 1031. the United Nations ('barter or any treaty ratified by the United States 

prior to such date. 
••Introduction I < - ) For purposes of this joint resolution, the term ''introduction of 

of United United States Armed Forces*' includes the assignment of members of 

States Armed such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in tin move 
Forces." ment of. or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of ;mv 

foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged, 
or- there exists an imminent threat that such forces will become 
engaged, in hostilities. 

(d) Nothing in this joint resolution — 

( 1 ) is intended to alter the constitutional authority of the Con 

gress or of the President, Or the provisions of existing treaties; or 

I ml I be construed as granting any authority to the President 

with respect to the introduction of United States A lined Forces 

into hostilities OT into situations wherein involvement in hostilities 

is clearly indicated by the circumstances w hich authority he would 
not have had in tin- absence of this joint resolution. 



SEPARABILITY CLAUSE 

Sec. 9. If any provision of this joint resolution or the application 
thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of 
the joint resolution and the application of such provision to any other 
person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. 

effective date 

Sec. 10. This joint resolution shall take effect on the date of its 
enactment. 



Carl Albert 
Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

James 0. Eastland 
President of the Senate pro tempore. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, U.S., 

November 7, 1973. 

The House of Representatives having proceeded to reconsider the resolution 
(H. J. Res. 542) entitled "Joint resolution concerning the war powers of 
Congress and the President", returned by the President of the United States 
with his objections, to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, it 
was 

Resolved, That the said resolution pass, two-thirds of the House of 
Representatives agreeing to pass the same. 

Attest: 

W. Pat Jennings 

Clerk. 

I certify that this Joint Resolution originated in the House of Representa- 
tives. 

W. Pat Jennings 

Clerk. 

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES 

November 7, 1973. 

The Senate having proceeded to reconsider the joint resolution (H. J. Res. 
542) entitled "Joint resolution concerning the war powers of Congress and the 
President", returned by the President of the United States with his objections 
to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, it was 



87 STAT. 559 



87 STAT. 560 



87 STAT. 560 



Resolved, That the said joint resolution pass, two-thirds of the Senators 
present having voted in the affirmative. 
Attest: 

Francis R. Valeo 

Secretary. 



LEGISLATIVE HI STORY l 

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 93-28 7 (Comm. on Foreign Affairs) and No. 93-547 

(Comm. of Conference). 
SENATE REPORT No. 93-220 accompanying S. 440 (Comm. on Foreign 

Relations). 
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 119 (1973): 

June 25, July 18, considered and oassed House. 

July 18 - 20, considered and passed Senate, amended, in 

lieu of S. 440. 
Oct. 10, Senate agreed to conference report. 
Oct. 12, House agreed to conference report, 
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 9, No. 43: 

Oot, 24, vetoed| Presidential message. 
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 119 (1973): 

Nov, 7, House and Senate overrode veto. 



93d Congress ) HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES f Report 

1st Session \ \ No. 93-547 



WAR POWERS 



October 4, 1973. — Ordered to be printed 



Mr. Zablocki, from the committee of conference, 
submitted the following 



i r~ 



CONFERENCE REPORT 

[To accompany H.J. Res. 542] 

The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two 
Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the joint resolution (H.J. 
Res. 542) concerning the war powers of Congress and the President, 
having met. after full and free conference, have agreed to recommend 
and do recommend to their respective Houses as follows : 

That the House recede from its disagreement to the amendment of 
the Senate and agree to the same with an amendment as follows : 

In Tieu of the matter proposed to be inserted by the Senate amend- 
ment insert the following : 

SHORT TITLE 

Section 1. This joint resolution, may be cited as the "War Powers 
Resolution". 

PURPOSE AND POLICY 

Sec. 2. (a) It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the 
intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and 
insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the Pres- 
ident will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces 
into Ibostttities* or into situations where imminent involvement in hos- 
tilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued 
use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations. 

(by Under article /, section 8. of the Constitution., it is specifically 
prodded that the Congress shall have the power to make all hues neces- 
sary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers 
but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Govern- 
ment of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. 

(c) The constitutional powers of the President an Commander-in- 
Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into 
situations xoltere imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indi- 
cated by the circumstances, are exercised only 'pursuant to (J) a d< cla- 

(7) 



ration of war, (£) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national 
emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or 
possessions, or its armed fon 

COXSILTATIOX 

Sec. 3. The President in ercry possible instance shall consult with 
Congress before introducing T'nited States Armed Forces into hostili- 
ties <>r into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is 
clearly indicated by the circumstances, and after every such intro- 
duction shall consult regularly with the Congress until Ignited States 
Armed Forces are no longer engaged in hostilities or have been re- 
moved from such situations. 

REPORTIXCr 

Sec. £, (a) In the absence of a declaration of war. in any case in 
which United States Armed Forces are introduced — 

(/) into hostilities or into situations where immineyit involve- 
ment in hostilities is clearly indicated, by the circumstances; 

{2) into the ter?-itory. airspace or waters of a foreign nation. 

while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate 

solely to supply, replacement, repair, or training of such forces; or 

(3) in numbers which substantially enlarge United States 

Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a- foreign 

nation : ■ , 

the President shall submit within JfS hours to the Sjieaker of the House 

of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a 

report, in writing^ setting- forth — 

(A)* the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United 
States Aimed Forces; 

(B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which 
sue}) introduction took place ; and 

(O) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or in- 
volvement. 

(b) The President shall provide such other information as the Con- 
gress may request in the fulfilment of its constitutional responsibili- 
ties with respect to committing the Nation to war and to the use of 
1 ' nited states . 1 rmed Forces abroad. 

(c) WheneVi f 1 'nited States . 1 rmed Forces are introduced into hos- 
tilities or into any sit nation described in subsection (a) of this section. 
the President sjiall. so long as such arm< d forces continue to be en- 
gaged in such hostilities or situation, report to the Congress periodi- 
cally on the status of such hostilities or situation as well as on the scope 
and duration of such hostilities or situation, but in no event shall he 
report to the Congress less often than once every si.,- months', 

CONGfRBSBIOX i /. \c 1 1<>\ 

Sgc ■'. (a) Each report submitted pursuant to section 4(a) (1) shall 
be transmits d to the Speaker of tin Housi ,,f //, /,,-, s , ntatives and to 
the President pro tempore of the Senate on flic sunn calendar day. 
Each report so transmitted shall l>< reft rred to the Committee onFor- 
eign Affairs of th, Uous, <>f Representatives and to the Committee on 

II Kept !>.T-547 






Foreign Relations of the Senate for appropriate action. If, wlien the 
report is transmitted, the Congress has adjourned sine die or has ad- 
journed for any period in excess of three calendar days, the Speaker 
of the House of Representatives mid the President pro tempore of the 
Senates if they deem it advisable (or if petitioned by at least 30 per- 
cent of the, membership of their respective Houses) shall jointly re- 
quest the President to convene Congress in order thai it may consider 
the report and take appropriate action pursuant to this section. 

(b) Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is 
required to be submitted pursuant to section Jf,(a)(l), whichever is 
earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed 
Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required 
to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has 
enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed 
Forces* (2) has extended by lair such sixty-day period, or (3) is 
physically unable to inert as a result of an armed attack upon the 
United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more 
than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies 
to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respect- 
ing the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued 
use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt re- 
moval of such forces. 

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b). at any time that United States 
Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the 
United States, its possessions and territories without a declaration of 
war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by 
the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution. 

COXGRESSIOXAL PRIORITY PROCEDURES FOR JOIST RESOLUTION OR BILL 

Skc'. 6. (a) Any joint resolution or bill introduced pursuant to sec- 
tion 5(b) at least thirty calendar days before the expiration of the 
sixty-day period specified in such section shall be referred to the 
Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives or the 
Committee on/Foreign Relations of the Senate, as the case may be, 
and such committee shall report one such joint resolution or l)ill. 
together with its recommendations, not later than twentu-four eaten- 
'dar days before the expiration of the sixty-day period specified in 
such section, unless such House shedl otherwise deter mine by the yeas 
and nays. 

(b) Any joint resolution or bill so reported shall become the pend- 
ing business of the House in question (in the case of the Senate the 
time for debate shall be equally divided between the proponents anil 
the opponents), and shall be voted on tn'thin three calendar days 
thereafter, unless such House shall otherwise determine by yeas and 
nayes. 

(c) Such a joint resolution or bill passed by one House shall, be re- 
ferred to the committee of the other House named in subsection (a) 
and shall be reported out not later than fourteen calendar days before 
the expiration of the sixty-day period specified in sett ion 5(b), The 
joint resolution or bill so reported shall become the pending business 
of the House in question and shut/ be rated on within three, call ndar 



ir. Rept. 93 541 

63-970 O - 76 - 3 



10 



days after it has been reported, unless siteh House shall otherwise 
d cterm 'mi by yeas and nays. 

i d) In the case of any disagreement between the tiro Houses of Con- 
\ with respect to a joint resolution or bill passed by both HouSi §, 
conferee* shall be promptly appointed- and the committee of confer- 
shall make and fie a report with respect to such resolution or bill 
cot Inter than four calendar days before the expiration of the sixty- 
day period specified in section o(b). In the event the conferees are 
cable to agree within JfS hours, they shall report back to their re- 
spective Houses in disagreement. Notwithstanding any rule in either 
House concerning the printing of conferee ■> reports in the Record or 
concerning any delay in the consideration of such reports* such re- 
port shall be acted on by both Houses not later than the expiration of 
such sixty-day period. 

C0NGRE88I0NAL PRIORITY PROCEDURES FOR CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 

Sec. 7. (a) Any concur/ eat /esolution introduced pursuant to sec- 
tion 5(c) shall be referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of 
the lions, of Representatives or the Committee on Foreign Relations 
of the Senate, as the case may be. and one such concurrent resolution 
shall be reported out by such committee together with its recommen- 
dations within fifteen calendar days^ unless such House shall otherwise 

dt t< rminc by the yea* and nays. 

(b) Any concurrent resolution so reported shall become the pend- 
ing business of the House in question {in the ease of the Senate the 
tinu for debatt shall be equally divided between the proponents and 
the opponents) and shall be voted on irithin three calendar days there- 
after, unless such House shall other/rise determine by yeas and nays. 

(c) Such a concurrent resolution passed by one House shall be re- 

■ <1 to the committee of the othei House named in subsection (a) 
end shall be reported out by such committee together with its /<<- 
< mmendat'/ons irithin fifteen calenda r days and shall the tea pou lx come 
tii> pending business of Such House and shall lie rated upon within 
three calender days, unlrss scrh House shall other /rise determini by 
yi as and nays. 

(d) In the case of an// d "/sag i ee me nt beta en the tiro Houses of 

Congress with respect to a concurrent resolution passed by both 

f [ousts, conferees shall be promptly appointed and the committ,, of 
conferi mi shall nml'e a/al fih a report /''ith res/net to such concui- 
r nt i esolution irithin SIX calendar days after the lei/islat ion is n 

■ <1 to th> committee of conference. Notwithstanding any nth in 
either 11 ous, concerning tin printing of conference reports in the 

lu (Did or concerning amy delay in the consideration of HUCh reports, 
such ii port shall b» ai U </ "u !>/< both Unas, s nn> later than sir cab n- 
dar day* a.fti r the COnft r< ))Ce report is tded. In tin i i'( nt the 

iii i unable to agree within /<s hours tiny shall report bach to their 
pectivt Houses in disagreement. 

INTERPRET ATIO\ OF JOINT RESOIA ii<>\ 

S/c. 8, in) Authority to hitroduce United States Armed Forces 

into hostilities or into situations mhere i n rol remi nt in hostilities IS 

clearly indicated In/ the circumstances shall not be inferred — 

n. Rep i. '.»:: :>17 



11 



(1) from any provision of law (whether or not in effect before 
the date of the enactment of this joint resolution) , including any 
provision contained in any appropriation Act, unless such pro- 
vision specifically authorizes the introduction of United States 
Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and states 
that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization 
within the meaning of this resolution ; or 

(2) from any treaty heretofore or hereafter ratified unless such 
treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the 
introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or 
into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute 
specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this joint 
resolution. 

(b) Nothing in this joint resolution shall be construed to require 
any further specific statutory authorization to permit members of 
United States Armed Forces to participate jointly with members of 
the armed forces of one or more foreign countries in the headquarters 
operations of high-level military commands which were established 
prior to the date of enactment of this joint resolution and pursuant to 
the United Nations Charter or any treaty ratified by the United States 
prior to such date. 

(c) For purposes of this joint resolution, the term ^introduction of 
United States Armed Forces" includes the assignment of members of 
such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the move- 
ment of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any 
foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged, 
or there exists an imminent threat that such forces will become engaged, 
in hostilities. 

( d ) Nothing in this joint resolution — 

(1) is intended to alter the constitutional authority of the Con- 
gress or of the President, or the provisions of existing treaties; or 

(2) shall be construed as granting any authority to the Presi- 
dent with respect to the introduction of United States Armed, 
Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in 
hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances ivhich au- 
thority he would not have had in the abence of this joint 
resolution. 

SEPARABILITY CLA USE 

Sec. 9. If any provision of this joint resolution or the application 
thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder 
of the joint resolution and the application of such provision to any 
other person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. 

EFFECTIVE DATE 

Sec. 10. This joint resolution shall take effect on the date of its 
enactment. 



II. l{«-pt. o:< 



12 

And the Senate agree to the same. 



Clement J. Zablocki, 
Thomas E. Morgan, 
Wayne L. Hays. 
Donald Fraser, 
Dante B. Fascell, 
Paul Findley, 
Wm, Broomfield, 
Managers on the Part of the House. 

J. W. FuLBRIGHT, 

Mike Mansfield, 
Stuart Symington, 
Edmund S. Muskie, 
G. Aiken, 
Clifford P. Case. 
J. K. Javits, 
Managers on the Part of the Senate 



H. K«.pt. 98 547 



JOINT EXPLANATORY STATEMENT OF THE 
COMMITTEE OF CONFERENCE 

The managers on the part of the House and the Senate at the con- 
ference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendment 
of the Senate to the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 542) concerning the 
war powers of Congress and the President, submit the following joint 
statement to the House and the Senate in explanation of the effect 
of the action agreed upon by the managers and recommended in the 
accompanying conference report : 

The Senate amendment to the joint resolution struck out all after 
the resolving clause and inserted a new text. Under the confewnce 
agreement fche House recedes with an amendment which substitutes a 
new text explained below except for clerical corrections, incidental 
changes made necessary by reason of agreements readied by the con- 
ferees, and minor drafting and clarifying changes. 

SHORT TITLK 

■ i ■' ■- • ;' 

Section 1 of the Senate amendment substituted "War Powers Act'' 
as a short title in lieu of the short title "War Powers vResolution of 
1973" in the Hou9e joint resolution. Section 1 ,of ti>e conference sub- 
stitute provides a short title of "War Powers Resolution'*. 

PURPOSE AND POLICY 

The Senate amendment contained a section entitled "Purpose and 
Policy 7 ' (section 2) and a section entitled "Emergency Use of the 
Armed Forces" (section 3) which defined the emergency powers of the 
President to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities or 
situations of imminent hostilities. 

The House joint resolution did not contain similar provisions. 

The conference report contains a section entitled "Purpose and 
Policy". The new section states that : 

(a) the purpose of the joint resolution is to fulfill the intent of the 
framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the 
collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will 
apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostili- 
ties, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is 
clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of 
such forces in hostilities or in such situations; 

(b) Article I, section 8 of the Constitution provides the basis for 
congressional action in this area ; and 

(c) the constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in- 
Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or 
into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly in- 
dicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a. 



H. Ropf. 0.'*. .",4- 

(13) 



14 



declaration of war. (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a na- 
tional emergency created by attack upon the United States, its terri- 
tories or possessions, or its armed forces. 

Section 2(c) is a statement of the authority of the Commander-in- 
Chief respecting the introduction of United States Armed Forces into 
hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities 
is clearly indicated by the circumstances. Subsequent sections of the 
joint resolution are not dependent upon the language of this subsec- 
tion, as was the case with a similar provision of the Senate bill 
(section 3). 

COXSULTATIOX 

The House joint resolution provided for presidential consultation 
with the leadership and appropriate committees of Congress before 
and after the President introduces United States Armed Forces into 
hostilities or situations of imminent hostilities. The conferees modified 
the House provision, to provide for consultation with the Congress. 
Section 3 of the conference report is not a limitation upon or substitute 
for other provisions contained in the report. It is intended that consul- 
tation take place during hostilities even when advance consultation 
is not possible. 

REPORT I NO 

Section 4 of the conference report concerns reporting both the House 
joint resolution and the Senate amendment contained similar report- 
ing provisions requiring the President to report to the Congress on 
specified actions. In the case of the House joint resolution, the report- 
ing provisions triggered the subsequent congressional action provi- 
sions. In the Senate version, congressional action provisions were not 
triggered by the reporting provision, but were otherwise brought into 
play. Section 4 of the conference report draws on both the Senate and 
House versions. It requires that the President provide such other in- 
formation as the Congress may request following his initial report on 
the introduction of United States Armed Forces, and further requires 
supplementary reports at least every six months so long as those forces 
are engaged. The initial presidential report is required to be submitted 
within 4S hours. The objective is to ensure that the Congress by right 
and as a matter of law will be provided with all the information it 
requires to carry out its constitutional responsibilities with respect to 
committing the Nation to war and to the use of United States Armed 
Forces abroad. 

CONGRESSIONAL ACTION 

Both the House joint resolution and the Senate amendment pro- 
vided lor termination within a specified time of presidential use of 
United States Armed Forces without a declaration of war or specific 
prior statutory authorization. The termination period in the House 

joint resolution was 120 day8; in t he Senate amendment .:><) da \ s. 

The conferees agreed on a ("><> day period following the forty-eight 
hour period in which the President is required to report under section 

[. The 60-day period can be extended for up to 30 additional days if the 
President determines and cert ifies in writing to the ( !ongress that un- 
avoidable military necessity respect inn the sa fet y of the t roops requires 

their continued use in bringing about a prompt disengagement from 
host Mit ies. 

ii. Rept. '.••■: 547 



15 



In section 5(a) the conferees accepted the provisions of the House 
joint resolution relating to the transmittal of the presidential report 
to Congress, with amendments which (1) provide for the possibility 
of reconvening of Congress in case of adjournment in order to consider 
such report, and (2) provide that 30 percent of the membership of 
the respective Houses may petition for such reconvening. 

The House joint resolution provided that use of United States 
Armed Forces by the President without a declaration of war or specific 
statutory authorization could be terminated by Congress through the 
use of a concurrent resolution. The Senate amendment provided for 
such termination by a bill or joint resolution. The conference report 
contains the concurrent resolution provision. 

The House joint resolution provided for termination of certain 
peacetime deployments of United States Armed Forces through the 
elapsing of a time period in which Congress failed to approve such 
deployments. The Senate amendment did not include such deploy- 
ments in its congressional action provisions. The conference report 
requires presidential reporting on such deployments but section 5(b) 
does not require their termination. 

CONGRESSIONAL PRIORITY PROCEDURES 

Both the House joint resolution and the Senate amendment con- 
tained congressional priority procedures. They differed primarily in 
that the House language specifically stipulated resort to a procedure 
of committee consideration while in the Senate version any pertinent 
bill or joint resolution was to be considered as reported directly to the 
floor of the House in question unless otherwise decided by the yeas and 
nays. The language agreed to by the conference in sections G and 7 
corresponds to the House version including separately stipulated 
priority procedures for consideration of concurrent resolutions re- 
quiring removal of forces. The following changes, however, were 
made : 

(1) language was added at the end of sections 6(a) and 7(a) 
allowing each House to change the procedures by the yeas and 
nays : 

(2) the various time frames in section 6 for full cycle consid- 
eration of a joint resolution or bill were shortened to conform to 
the change in section 5(b) from 120 days to 00 days : 

(3) following the reporting of a joint resolution or bill or con- 
, current resolution by the appropriate committee it was stipulated 

that the time for debate in the Senate shall be equally divided be- 
tween the proponents and the opponents : and 

(4) section 6(.d) and section 7(d) provide for expedited con- 
ference committee procedures in the consideration of pertinent 
legislation passed by both houses. 

TERMINATION' OF CONGRESS 

Section 7 of the House joint resolution provided a mechanism to 
insure that the time period provided for under section 4 of the joint 
resolution would not expire while Congress was in adjournment. The 
Senate amendment had no similar provision. 'Fhe conference report 
does not contain the House provision on the grounds that the language 

II. Rept. !»:•. 547 



16 



of section 5 of the conference report had obviated the need of this 
section. 

INTERPRETATION OF JOINT RESOLUTION 

The Senate amendment contained definitions of certain terms. The 
House joint resolution, while incorporating some broad interpretations 
of the meaning of the joint resolution, did not contain such definitive 
language. The conferees agreed to combine both definitions and in- 
terpretations in a single section 8 with changes including: 

(1) adoption of modified Senate language defining specific 
statutory authorization, and defining the phrase "introduction of 
United States Armed Forces" as used in the joint resolution: 

(2) elimination of House language concerning the constitu- 
tional process requirement contained in mutual security treaties: 
and 

(3) addition of Senate language which makes clear that the 
resolution does not prevent members of the United States Aimed 
Forces from participating in certain joint military exercises with 
allied or friendly organizations or countries. The "high-level 
military commands" referred to in this section are understood to 
be those of NATO, the North American Air Defense command 
(XORAD) and the United Nations command in Korea (UXC). 

SEPARABILITY CLAUSE 

The Senate amendment contained a separability clause stipulating 
that, if any of its provisions or the application thereof to any person 
or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Act and the 
application of such provision to any other person or circumstance 
would not be affected. The House version did not contain a correspond- 
ing provision. The conferees accepted the language of the Senate 
amendment, with certain technical modifications. 

EFFECTIVE DATE 

Roth the House joint resolution and the Senate 1 amendment con- 
tained language providing that the legislation would take effect on the 
date of its enactment. This provision was not in disagreement. 

Clement J. Zablockt, 
Thomas E. Morgan, 
Wayne L. Hats, 
I )«»\ \i.i> Fa lsi r, 
I >w n. B. Fascell, 
Paul Findley, 
Wm. Broomtteld, 
Managers on the Part of the Uousi . 

,1. W. Fl i i'.i.'icmt. 

Mike M wm n in. 
Sttj \kt Si mi noton, 

Edmi \i> S. Mi ski i . 

< ; \ iki \. 

( 'i ii TOED P. ( JAB! . 

J. K. Javtts, 

Managers on tlo Part of flu Senate* 

ii. Rept. 98 547 



93d Congress J HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES j Report 

1st Session J ( Xo. 93-287 



WAR POWERS RESOLUTION OF 1973 



June 15, 1963.— Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State 
of the Union and ordered to be printed 



Mr. Zablocki, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, 
submitted the following 

REPORT 

TOGETHER WITH MINORITY AND 
SUPPLEMENTAL VIEWS 

[To accompany H.J. Res. 542] 

The Committee on Foreign Affairs, to whom was referred the joint 
resolution (House Joint Resolution 542) concerning the war powers 
of Congress and the President, having considered the same, report fa- 
vorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the joint res- 
olution as amended do pass. 

The amendments are as follows : 

On page 2, line 19, strike out "forty-eight" and insert in lieu thereof 
"seventy-two". 

On page 4, line 18, insert "one such resolution or bill" immediately 
after "and". 

On page 5, line 13, insert "one such resolution" immediately after 
"and". 

On page G, immediately after line 2, insert the following : 

TERMINATION OF CONGRESS 

Sec. 7. For purposes of subsection (b) of section 4, in the 
event of the termination of a Congress before the expiration 
of the one hundred and twenty-day period specified in such 
subsection (b), without action having been taken by the Con- 
gress under such subsection, such one hundred and twenty- 
day period shall not expire sooner than forty-eight days 
after the convening of the next succeeding Congress, pro- 
vided that a resolution or bill is introduced, pursuant to such 
subsection (b), within three days of the convening of such 
next succeeding Congress. 

(17) 



-970 O - 76 - 4 



18 



On page 6. lino 4, strike out "7" and insert in lien thereof "8'\ 
On pane 6, line 16, strike out "hereof" and insert in lieu thereof "of 
this Act". 

On page 6, immediately after line 16. insert the following: 

APPLICABILITY TO CERTAIN EXISTING COMMITMENTS 

Sir. 0. All commitments of United States Armed Forces 
to hostilities existing on the date of the enactment of this 
Act shall he subject to the provisions hereof, and the Presi- 
dent shall file the report required by section 3 within seventy- 
two hours after the enactment of this Act. 

On page 6, line 18, strike out "8" and insert in lieu thereof "10". 
On page 6, lines 4 and 18, strike ont ''resolution'- and insert in lieu 
thereof "Act". 

BACKGROUND 

On three occasions in the past two sessions of Congress, the House 
of Representatives lias passed war powers legislation. In the 01st Con- 
gress a joint resolution reported by unanimous vote from the Commit- 
tee on Foreign Affairs was adopted under suspension of the rules in 
the House by a vote of 288 to 39. The Honse-passed measure was sent 
to the Senate where, because of that body's failure to act, it died with 
the end of the 91st Congress. 

In the 92d Congress, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, again 
unanimously, reported House Joint Resolution 1 to the House. It was 
passed unanimously in the House by a voice vote under a suspension 
of the rules. The Senate, however, passed its own version of a war 
powers measure, and because of a parliamentary snarl which devel- 
oped, it became necessary for the House to act once again. The Senate 
bill was amended with the language of House Joint Resolution 1 in 
the House — by a vote of 344 to 13 — and sent to conference. The con- 
ferees met once near the end of the 92d Congress but could come to 
no agreement and the war powers resolution died once again. 

ACTION IN THE 9 3D CONGRESS 

Upon the opening of the 93d Congress the chairman of the Sub- 
committee on National Security Policy and Scientific Developments, 
and 11 COSponsorS, introduced ;i new war powers resolution (House 
Joint Resolution L 2) . somewhat modified from those of prior years. 

Six days of hearings were held by the subcommittee 00 that reso- 
lution and Other war powers measures which had been referred to 

the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Among those proposals were: 

( Concerning i be war powers of t be < Songress o n<] the President 

H.J. Res. 96 Pepper 

H.R. 2063 Matsunaga 

H.R. 1378 Oude 

f i.J- Re& 198 du Ponl 
Governing the use of the Armed Forces <>r the United Slates in the absence 
of .i decla rat Ion <>r war by i he Congress. 

H.R. .".17 Bingham 

H.R. 4038 Nil 

U.K. 5669 Bingham 

U.K. 6424 Bingham el al. 



19 



Relating to the power of Congress to declare war. 

H.J. Res. 315— Leggett 
Relating to the war power of the Congress. 

H.J. Res. 21— Danielson 

H.J. Res. 71— Chappell et al. 

H.J. Res. 72— Chappell et al. 

H.J. Res. 89 — Matsunaga 

H.J. Res. 250— Dickinson 

H.J. Res. 271— Fuqua 

H.J. Res. 409— Chappell et al. 

H.J. Res. 448— Cronin 
Relative to the commitment of U.S. Armed Forces. 

H. Res. 112— Rarick 
To define the authority of the President of the United States to intervene 
abroad or to make war without the express consent of Congress. 

H.R. 3722— Sisk 

H.R. 4834— Xix 
To make rules respecting military hostilities in the absense of a declaration 
of war. 

H.R. 926— Quie 

H.R. 261G— Railsback 

H.R. 2740— Tiernan 
To make rules governing the use of the Armed Forces of the United States 
in the absence of a declaration of war by the Congress. 

H.R. 454— Dellenback 

H.R. 1454— Ullman 

H.R. 3139— Harrington 

H.R. 3333— Charles H. Wilson of Calif. 

H.R. 3408— Fish 

H.R. 3832— Mazzoli 

H.R. 4725 — Sandman 

H.R. 4858— Ruppe 

H.R. 49GG— Meeds 

H.R. 5455— Zwach 

H.R. 5594— Esch 
To make rules governing the use of the Armed Forces of the United States 
in the absence of a declaration of war by the Congress of the United States 
or of a military attack upon the United States. 

H.R. 3046— Dennis et al. 

H.R. 4295— Rousselot 

H.R. 6318— Dennis et al. 

Testifying were seven Members of the House, two Senators, a spokes- 
man for the Department of State, and five private experts. Four 
markup sessions followed at which new language was drafted. A re- 
vised war powers resolution was ordered reported to the full commit- 
tee by a vote of 9 to 1 on May 2. The following day the measure, House 
Joint Resolution 542, was introduced by the subcommittee chairman 
with 14 cosponsors, including Mr. Fountain, Mr. Fraser, Mr. Bing- 
ham, Mr. Fascell, Mr. Davis of Georgia, Mr. Charles Wilson of Texas, 
Mr. Findley, Mr. du Pont, Mr. Bicster, Mr. Nix, Mr. Broomfield, Mi-. 
Pepper, Mr. Hays, and Mr. Holifield. The committee considered the 
bill in markup on May 22, May 31, and June 7. The resolution was 
reported with amendments on the latter date by a vote of 31 to 4, with 
one member answering "present." 

CONSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT 

The Cambodian incursion of May 1970 provided the initial im- 
petus for a number of bills and resolutions on the war powers. 
Many Members of Congress, including those who supported the action, 
were disturbed by the lack of prior consultation with Congress and 



20 



the near crisis in relations between the executive and legislative 
branches which the incident occasioned. 

The issue concerns the "twilight zone'' of concurrent authority 
which the Founding Fathers gave the Congress and the President 
over the war powers of the National Government 

The term "war powers" may be taken to mean the authority in- 
herent in national sovereignties to declare, conduct, and conclude 
armed hostilities with other states. In the U.S. Constitution the war 
powers which are expressly reserved to the Congress are found in 
article 1, section 8, of the Constitution: 

I. The Congress shall have power * * * 

* * * # * * * 

II. To declare war. grant letters of marque and reprisal, 
and make rules concerning captures on land and water; 

12. To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of 
money to that use shall be for a longer term than 2 years: 

13. To provide and maintain a Navy; 

14. To make rules for the government and regulation of 
the land and naval forces; 

15. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the 
laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions: 

16. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining 
the militia and for governing such part of them as may be 
employed in the service of the United States: 

****** 4 

18. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper 
for carrying into execution the foregoing powers vested by 
this constitution in the Government of the United States, 
or in any department or officer thereof. 

The war powers of the President are expressed in article II, 
section 2 : 

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army 
and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the 
several States, when called into the actual service of the 
United States * * *. 

The interpretation and application of these constitutional grants 
have varied widely through our Nation's history. Testimony received 
during hearings held in the 91s1 . 92d, and 93d Congresses confirmed 
the view of many Members «>f ( Jongress and outside observers that the 
constitutional "balance" of authority over warmaking has swung 
heavily to the President in modern times. To restore the balance pro- 
vided for and mandated in the Constitution, Congress must now 
-- rt its own prerogatives and responsibilities. 

In shaping legislation to that purpose, the intention was not to re- 
fled criticism on activities of Presidents, past or present, or to take 
punitive action. Rather, the focus of concern was the appropriate 
scope and suhstance of congressional and Presidential authority in 

the exercise of the power of war in order that the Congress might ful- 
fill its responsibilities under the Constitution while permitting the 
his responsibilities. 



21 



The objective, throughout the consideration of war powers legisla- 
tion, was to outline arrangements which would allow the President and 
Congress to work together in mutual respect and maximum harmony 
toward their ultimate, shared goal of maintaining the peace and 
security of the Nation. 

THE INTENT AND EFFECT OF HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 5 42 

The issue of the war powers is a complex and challenging one. The 
committee's objective was to reaffirm the constitutionally given author- 
ity of Congress to declare war. At the same time, the committee was 
sensitive to and cognizant of the President's right to defend the Nation 
against attack, without prior congressional authorization, in extreme 
circumstances such as a nuclear missile attack or direct invasion. On 
the basis of the deepened understanding generated over recent years, 
however, it became increasingly evident that the problem did not 
center on such extraordinary circumstances. Rather, the main difficulty 
involved the commitment of U.S. military forces exclusively by the 
President (purportedly under his authority as Commander in Chief) 
without congressional approval or adequate consultation with the 
Congress. 

As a result of extensive hearings and the contributions made by 
many members of the House who have given thought to, and sponsored 
legislation on, war powers, it was possible to arrive at a consensus as 
to what legislation in this important area should encompass. House 
Joint Resolution 542 embodies that consensus. Briefly, the legislation 
does the following : 

1. Directs the President in every possible instance to consult 
with the leadership and appropriate committees of Congress be- 
fore, and regularly during, the commitment of United States 
Armed Forces to hostilities or situations where hostilities may be 
imminent ; 

2. Requires that the President make a formal report to Con- 
gress whenever, without a declaration of war or other prior specific 
congressional authorization, he takes significant action committing 
U.S. Armed Forces to hostilities abroad or the risk thereof, or 
places or substantially increases U.S. combat forces on foreign 
territory ; 

3. Provides for a specific procedure of consideration by Con- 
gress when a Presidential report is submitted ; 

4. Denies to the President the authority to commit U.S. Armed 
Forces for more than 120 days without specific congressional 
approval, while also allowing the Congress to order the President 
to disengage from combat operations at any time before the 120- 
day period ends through passage of a concurrent resolution. 

5. Stipulates a specific congressional priority procedure for 
consideration of any relevant bill or resolution which may be 
introduced — in other words, an antifilibuster provision ; and 

6. Specifies that the measure is in no way intended to alter the 
constitutional authority of the Congress or the President, or the 
provisions of existing treaties. 



22 



COST ESTIMATE 



Pursuant to clause 7, Eule XIII, of the House Rules, the commit- 
tee believes that the adoption and implementation of this war powers 
resolution will result in little or no additional cost to the Government 
of the United States. If adopted, however, application of the legisla- 
tion could result in substantial future savings to the Nation, botli in 
blood and treasure, by preventing U.S. military combat involvements 
abroad which are found by Congress to be not in the national interest. 

SECnON-BY-SECnON ANALYSIS 

Section 1. Short title and introductory clause 

The introductory clause simply reads: "Concerning the war powers 
of Congress and the President/' Sec. 1. the "Short Title,*' reads: 
k *This measure may be cited as the 'War Powers Resolution of 1073'." 

The word "concerning*' was chosen because the resolution is merely 
intended to elaborate upon the application of the warmaking powers 
of the Congress and the President mentioned in the Constitution. By 
contrast with other war powers proposals. House Joint Resolution 542 
does not attempt any itemized definition of the war powers. 

Section 2. Consultation 

This section directs that the President "in every possible instance 
shall consult with the leadership and appropriate committees of the 
Congress before committing United States Armed Forces to hostilities 
or to situations when hostilities may be Imminent. * * **' 

The use of the word "every" reflects the committee's belief that 
such consultation prior to the commitment of armed forces should be 
inclusive. In other words, it should apply in extraordinary and emer- 
gency circumstances — even when it is not possible to get formal con- 
gressional approval in the form of a declaration of war or other spe- 
cific authorization. 

At the same time, through use of the word "possible" it recog- 
nizes that a situation may be so dire, e.g. hostile missile attack under- 
way, and require such instantaneous action that no prior consultation 
will be possible. It is therefore simultaneously firm in its expression 
of Congressional authority yet flexible in recognizing the possible need 
for swift action by the President which would not allow him time to 
consult first with Congre 

The second element of section *2 relates to situations afti r a commit- 
ment of forces has been made (with or without prior consultation). In 

that instance, it imposes upon the President, through use of the word 
"shall", the obligation to ^consult regularly with such Members and 
committees until such United States Armed Forces are no longer > n- 
gaged In hostilities or hare l>< < n removed from an as -where hostilities 
may bt imminent," 

\ considerable amount of attention was given to the definition of 
consultation. Rejected was the notion that consultation should be 
synonymous with merely being informed. Rather, consultation in this 
provision means that a decision is pending on a problem and that 
Members of Congress are being asked by the President for their advice 



23 



and opinions and, in appropriate circumstances, their approval of 
action contemplated. Furthermore, for consultation to be meaningful, 
the President himself must participate and all information relevant to 
the situation must be made available. 

In the context of this and following sections of the resolution, a 
commitment of armed forces commences when the President makes 
the final decision to act and issues orders putting that decision into 
effect. 

The word hostilities was substituted for the phrase armed conflict 
during the subcommittee drafting process because it was considered 
to be somewhat broader in scope. In addition to a situation in which 
fighting actually has begun, hostilities also encompasses a state of con- 
frontation in which no shots have been fired but where there is a clear 
and present danger of armed conflict. "Imminent hostilities" denotes 
a situation in which there is a clear potential either for such a state of 
confrontation or for actual armed conflict. 

Section 3. Reporting 

This section contains a reporting requirement obligating the Presi- 
dent to submit a written report to Congress when "without a prior 
declaration of war by Congress", he takes certain actions committing 
U.S. Armed Forces. The section stipulates the circumstances 
requiring such a report, prescribes its form, specifies the nature of its 
contents, and states the timing of its submission. A central purpose of 
the reporting requirement is to cause the President, in the process of 
decisionmaking, to take into account the legal and constitutional 
foundation for his actions, as well as the constitutional role of the 
Congress in warmaking. 

Three sets of circumstances which would require a report are 
enumerated in the resolution as follows : 

(1) When the President "commits United States Armed Forces 
to hostilities outside the territory of the United States, its ])o*ses- 
sions and territories." This includes all commitments of U.S. 
Armed Forces abroad to situations in which hostilities already 
have begun and where there is reasonable expectation that Ameri- 
can military personnel will be subject to hostile fire. 

The language makes clear that the subsection applies to hostili- 
ties outside the territory of the United States, as opposed to at- 
tacks directly upon, or within, the territory of the United States. 
This language implicitly recognizes the President's right to pro- 
tect the United States against attacks by all enemies, foreign and 
domestic. There is no implication whatsoever that the resolution is 
intended to impair the President's authority to provide such 
defense. 

(2) Reporting is required when the President "commits United 
States Armed Forces equipped for combat to the territory, air- 
space or waters of a foreign nation, except for deployments which 
relate solely to supply, replacement, repair or training of United 
States Armed Forces". While subsection (1) refers to the com- 
mitment of U.S. troops to an area where armed conflict actually 
is in progress, subsection (2) covers the initial commitment of 
troops in situations in which there is no actual fighting but some 



24 



risk, however small, of the forces being involved in hostilities. A 
report would be required any time combat military forces were 
sent to another nation to alter or preserve the existing political 
status quo or to make the U.S. presence felt. Thus, for example, 
the dispatch of Marines to Thailand in 1962 and the quarantine of 
Cuba in the same year would have required Presidential reports. 
Reports would not be required for routine port supply calls, emer- 
gency aid measures, normal training exercises, and other noncom- 
bat military activities. 

(3) Reporting is required when the President "substantially 
enlarges United States Armed Forres equipped for combat al- 
ready located in a foreign nation^ While the word "substantially" 
designates a flexible criterion, it is possible to arrive at a common- 
sense understanding of the numbers involved. A 100-percent in- 
crease in numbers of Marine guards at an embassy — say from 5 to 
10 — clearly would not be an occasion for a report. A thousand 
additional men sent to Europe under present circumstances does 
not significantly enlarge the total U.S. troop strength of about 
300,000 already there. However, the dispatch of 1,000 men to 
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which now has a complement of 4.000 
would mean an increase of 25 percent, which is substantial. Under 
this circumstance. President Kennedy would have been required 
to report to Congress in 1962 when he raised the number of U.S. 
military advisers in Vietnam from 700 to 16,000. 
The latter half of section S deals with the timing, form, and scope 
of the report submitted by the President. 

(/) Timing. — Although prior war powers legislation had used the 
word "promptly" in designating the time period in which a Presiden- 
tial report had to be submitted following an action specified under the 
resolution, the committee saw the need for more precision and adopted 
72 hours as the time limit. This period is assumed to bo sufficient for 
the President to assemble all the pertinent information necessary to 
make a full report to the Congress. 

(2) Form. — The report by the President is stipulated to be in writ- 
ing. Moreover, to the maximum extent possible, it is to be unclassified. 
If the President desires to make classified information available to the 
Congress as additional justification for his actions, he is free to do so. 
The procedure of submitting the report to the Speaker of the House 
and the President pro tempore of the Senate is a normal one for re- 
ceiving such reports on behalf of Congress. 

(S) Scope.— -Five stipulations are made on the contents of the 

report. By prescript ive language in the resolution, the President is 

to include : 

(.1 ) the circumstances necessitating his art ion .• 
(B) the constitutional and legislative provisions under the au- 
thority Of which he look .such action ; 

((' ) the estimated scope of activities ; 

( O ) the estimated financial cost of such commitment ot such 
i nlargement of forces} and 

(F) such other information as the President may deem useful 
to th> ( 'ongress in the fulfillment of its constitutional responsibili- 
ties "'if/' i' ipeci to committing th\ Nation to war and to the use 

of I ' nilt d States . 1 nncd Forces a/iroad. 



25 



It is the belief of the committee that a report which fulfills the cri- 
teria set forth above will provide the Congress with adequate informa- 
tion on which to base its deliberations and possible action concerning 
the commitment of U.S. Armed Forces by the President, 

Section 4- Congressional action 

Section 4 has four basic purposes: first, to provide for a specific 
procedure of consideration by Congress when a report is submitted 
pursuant to section 3 ; second, to provide for the receiving of a report 
when Congress is not in session ; third, to deny the President the au- 
thority to commit U.S. Armed Forces for more than 120 days without 
further specific congressional approval; fourth, to authorize both 
Houses of Congress to order the President to disengage any forces 
from hostilities outside the United States at any time during or after 
the 120-day period through passage of a concurrent resolution. 

Subsection (a) of section 4 provides that each report submitted by 
the President pursuant to section 3 shall be transmitted to the Speaker 
of the House and President pro tempore of the Senate on the same day. 

It further provides that if such a report is received when Con- 
gress is not in session the Speaker and President pro tempore, if they 
deem it advisable, shall jointly request the President to convene Con- 
gress to provide for consideration of it and allow the Congress to 
take appropriate action pursuant to this section. There are three rea- 
sons for this language : 

By use of the phrase"* * * if they deem it advisable * * *" it is in- 
tended that the good judgment of these two officials would determine 
whether the report covered a situation of sufficient urgency, im- 
portance and severity to warrant the extraordinary measure of order- 
ing the reconvening of Congress. There may be instances when a report 
is filed on a relatively minor action. 

The language "* * * shall jointly request" makes clear that both 
the Speaker and President pro tempore would have to concur in the 
importance of and urgency of the situation covered in the report and 
in the desirability of asking the President to reconvene Congress. 
Yet, through use of the word "shaW the committee intended to con- 
vey its strong belief that reports dealing with situations of urgency 
and importance would obligate these two officials to request the Presi- 
dent to reconvene Congress. In this connection the committee recog- 
nizes that the Constitution states clearly that only the President 
"may" reconvene Congress. 

The language "* * * that it may consider the report and take appro- 
priate action * * *" refers to the congressional action and procedures 
outlined in section 4 (b) and (c) as well as sections 5 and 6, "Congres- 
sional Priority Procedure." 

The resolution further stipulates that following receipt of the re- 
port the Speaker and President pro tempore shall refer Ht to the 
Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Rouse of Representatives and to 
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. * * *" The purpose of this 
language was to make clear that these two committees have proper 
jurisdiction over declarations of war and with foreign affairs gen- 
erally. Further, in order to make the report available to all members 
of Congress the resolution stipulates that it "&e printed as a docu- 
ment for each House." 



26 



Subsection (b) of the resolution is one of its major provisions. In 
brief, it stipulates that "within one hundred and twenty calendar days 
after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted * * *" the 
President would be required to terminate the commitment referred to 
in the report and "remove any enlargement of UJS. Armed Forces"' 
unless the Congress enacts a declaration of war or a specific authoriza- 
tion for the use of U.S. Armed Forces. Considerations which entered 
into this provision are as follows: 

The language "* * * * within one hundred end twenty call ndar 
days * * :: " was used as a means of providing an adequate but 
fixed limitation on the period of the Presidential action. The 
Congress recognizes that the President has, from time to time, 
assumed a power to act from provision of treaties, laws, and 
resolutions as well as from the Constitution itself which do not 
constitute an explicit or specific authorization. This provision 
enables Congress to consider the necessity or wisdom of a Presi- 
dent's action and to require the President to abandon such action 
if Congress is not persuaded that the action is in the interest of 
the United States, or to endorse the action if Congress believes 
it to be in the national interest. As is made clear in section 8 of 
the resolution, this provision is not to be construed as a grant of 
authority to the President to act for 120 days. Kather, it should 
be considered a specific time limitation upon any power to act 
assumed by the President from sources other than a specific 
authorization by Congress. 

Nor should this limitation and the power contained in subsec- 
tion (c) be interpreted as limiting the means now available to 
Congress and citizens to challenge the authority of the President 
to act. 

The language "* * * or is required to be submitted * * *" takes 
into account a situation in which the President for whatever 
reason may decide not to submit a report. Tn that case, the 120- 
day period would begin after the 72-hour period referred to in 
section 3. 

The Language "* * * the President shall terminate any com- 
mitment * * *" obligates the President explicitly to stop the com- 
mitment or enlargement and remove U.S. Armed Forces to which 

the report refers. 

The phrase "* * * unless the Congress enacts a declaration of 

war or a specific authorization for tin ust of United States 

Armed Forces" spells out either of the two specific affirmative 

actions which the Congress would have to take in order for the 

President to continue his action, namely. ;i declaration of war or 

.i specific authorization in the form of a joint resolution. 

Subsection (<?) is another of the resolution's major provisions. It 

provides for the termination of the President's action covered in the 

report through i • of a concurrent resolution by both Mouses. 

before the end of tin' 120-day period referred to in section hlil and 

not wit list a n ding section I ( l>). If is, in other word-, an option of •■on 

ional action. Considerations which entered into i'\v legislative 
language here are as follows : 

The phrase "shut/ t,< disengaged" has as its antecedent the 
President's action of committing U.S. Armed Forces. The intent 



27 



of the committee was simply that the President shall stop the 
action to which he has committed the forces by releasing the 
forces from the order which committed them, and removing them 
from the situation. 

The language "* * * if the Congress so directs by concurrent 
resolution" is the heart of subsection (c). It authorizes the use of 
a concurrent resolution to "veto" or disapprove an action of the 
President committing United States Armed Forces to hostilities. 
In effect, the joint resolution "endows" this concurrent resolution 
with the binding force of statute. Since the language applies to a 
situation where there is no congressional authorization for the 
President's action it thereby avoids the possibility of a Presi- 
dential veto — and resulting impasse — which would be possible on 
a bill or a joint resolution. A discussion of the use of a concurrent 
resolution for this purpose may be found on pages 13-14. 

Sections 5 and 6. Congressional priority procedure 

Sections 5 and 6 stipulate a specific congressional priority proce- 
dure for consideration of a relevant bill or joint resolution which may 
be introduced pursuant to section 4(b) or a concurrent resolution 
introduced pursuant to section 4(c). Sections 5 and 6 are, in other 
words, the "antifllibuster" provisions of the resolution. While it was 
recognized that filibusters are primarily a problem of the Senate, it 
was felt that these provisions would protect the interests of the House. 
It would achieve that objective, for example, by allowing the House 
enough time to deal with any relevant bill or resolution sent by the 
Senate. Section 5 relates to section 4(b) and section 6 relates to sec- 
tion 4(c). In both cases, the language provides for referral to relevant 
bills or resolutions to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and 
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in accord with the tradi- 
tional jurisdiction of those committees. 

The intent of the committee in including sections 5 and 6 is to 
establish the status of relevant legislation as "privileged motions," 
approximate to the procedure followed when a discharge petition is 
filed for the consideration of a resolution. 

TIMING OF SECTION 5 

As prescribed in section 5 which relates to section 4(b), the tim- 
ing of congressional procedures would be as follows : 

Forty-five days before end of 120-day period. — Bill or joint 
. resolution must be introduced to be guaranteed protection of 
committee consideration. 

_ Thirty days before end of 120-day period. — One such resolu- 
tion or bill must be reported out by committee. 

Within 3 legislative days of being reported by committee. — 
Legislation becomes pending business of either House and shall 
be voted on and sent to the other body. 

Fifteen days before end of 120-day period. — Legislation acted 
upon by one body and sent to the other body and referred to 
appropriate committee shall be reported out. 

Within 3 legislative days of being reported by committee in 
other body. — Legislation so reported shall become pending busi- 



28 



ness and shall bo voted on unless such body shall otherwise deter- 
mine by yeas and nays. 

End of 120-day period. — Presidential action must stop unless 
previously sanctioned by Congress. 

TIMING OF SECTION G 

The timing for congressional consideration under section 6, which 
relates to section 4(c) is as follows : 

Within 15 calendar days of introduction of concurrent resolu- 
tion. — One such resolution shall be reported out by committee 
with recommendations and shall become pending business. 

Within 3 legislative days of being reported out. — Shall be voted 
on unless otherwise determined by yeas and nays. 

Within 15 calendar days of concurrent resolution passed by one 
House and referred to other body^s appropriate committee. — 
Shall be reported out by committee and become pending business. 

Within 3 legislative Stays of being reported out by committee. — 
Shall be voted on unless otherwise determined by yeas and nays. 

ion 7. Termination of Congress 

Section T deals with a situation in which a Congress terminates 
during the 120-day period specified in subsection 4(b) without having 
taken final action to approve or disapprove a commitment of armed 
forces. 

The committee did not wish to force the President to cease a mili- 
tary action abroad simply because Congress was not in session at the 
expiration of 120 days and it had not been possible to take final action 
before adjournment. 

Thus, section V provides that in such a case the 120-day period shall 
not expire sooner than 48 days after the convening of the next succeed- 
ing Congress, providing that a resolution or bill is introduced pursuant 
to subsection t(b) within 3 days of the convening of the next suc- 
ceeding Congress. This language is meant to insure that in any case 
in which the L20-day period is interrupted by statutory termination of 
Congress without congressional action, there would be an extension of 
the period. It also would allow the antifilibuster provisions to come 
into effect. 

lion 8. Interpretation of act 

I ion 9 deals with the construction, intent, and effect of the resolu- 
tion. 

The intent of subsection (a) is to disclaim any intention of alter- 
ing the constitutional grant- of war powers to the legislative and 
executive branches. It thereby helps insure the constitutionality of 
the resolution by making it clear that nothing in it can he interpreted 
as changing in any way t he powers delegated to each branch of govern- 
ment by the Constitution. In addition, it reassures U.S. allies that 
of the resolution will not affect U.S. obligations under mutual 
defense agreements and other treaties to which the United States is 

a pally. 

The intent of subsection (b) IS to stale explicitly that nothing in 

the resolution "shall hi construed to represent congressional accept- 



29 



ance of the proposition that Executive action alone can satisfy the 
constitutional process requirement contained in the provisions of mu- 
tual security treaties to which the United States is a party." 

This statement is aimed at rejecting those interpretations of the 
treaty obligations of the United States which hold that mutual secu- 
rity treaties such as NATO, SEATO, and ANZUS are "self -execut- 
ing"' and do not require congressional sanction of any kind for Presi- 
dential actions taken in pursuit of such obligations, including actions 
which involve the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces into hostilities. 

The intent of subsection (c) is to emphasize that this resolution 
does not grant the President any new authority and, in connection 
with the 120-day period referred to in section 4(b). that the President 
would not have any freedom of action during the 120-day period 
Avhich he does not already have. 

Section 9. Applicability to certain existing commitments 

This section provides that the resolution would apply to those com- 
mitments of U.S. Armed Forces to hostilities which are in progress 
on the date of its enactment into law. The section further provides 
thai, upon enactment of the resolution the President should proceed 
to file the report as required by section 3 and that the 120-day period 
called for by subsection 4(b) would begin on the date of the filing of 
the report. 

Section 10. Effective date 

This section states that the resolution, except to the extent otherwise 
provided in section 9, shall take effect on the date of its enactment. 

USE OF A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 

Section 4(c) provides that an action by the President committing 
U.S. troops to hostilities or into areas or situations where hostilities 
are imminent could be terminated by both Houses of Congress acting 
through a concurrent resolution. Some question has been raised about 
the constitutionality of the use of a concurrent resolution for this pur- 
pose. After careful study of the issues involved the committee believes 
that there is ample precedent for the use of the concurrent resolution 
to "veto" or disapprove a future action of the President, which action 
was previously authorized by a joint resolution or bill. 

There are many examples of legislative actions which have the effect 
of law without a Presidential signature. Perhaps the most notable is 
the ability of Congress to veto executive branch reorganization plans 
under the Executive Reorganization Act. Other examples are amend- 
ments to the Constitution of the United States and orders to spend 
money appropriated to the use of the Congress. 

Further, most of the important legislation enacted for the prose- 
cution of World War II provided that the powers granted to the Pres- 
ident would come to an end upon adoption of concurreiit resolutions 
to that purpose. Among those acts were : 

The I^end-Leasc Act ; 

First War Powers Act; 

Emergency Price Control Act ; 

Stabilization Act of 1942 ; 

War Labor Disputes Act. 



30 



In more recent times both the Middle East Resolution and the Gulf 
of Tonkin Resolution provided for their repeal by concurrent resolu- 
tion. 

This use of a concurrent resolution has been accepted by various 
authorities as a constitutionally valid practice. It might be noted that 
Senator Sam J. Ervin, a noted constitutional scholar, has authored a 
bill which would permit international executive agreements to be 
"vetoed" by the Congress through passage of a concurrent resolution. 
This proposal lias been endorsed by many constitutional experts and a 
former Supreme Court justice. 

The constitutional validity of such usage of a concurrent resolution 
is based on the capacity of Congress to limit or to terminate the author- 
ity it delegates to the Executive. In the case of the war powers, the 
( Constitution is clear that the power to declare war. as well as the power 
to raise and maintain an army and a navy, belong to Congress. Under 
the Constitution, the President is designated as the (Commander in 
Chief to prosecute wars authorized by Congress. 

When the President commits U.S. Armed Forces to hostilities 
abroad on his own responsibility, he has. in effect, assumed congres- 
sional authority. Under this war powers resolution the Congress can 
rescind that authority as it sees fit by a concurrent resolution and 
thereby avoid the problem of a Presidential veto. The authority for 
the ( Jongress to establish a legislative process for rescinding an assumed 
power to act on the part of the President can be found in Article 1. 
Section 8, of the Constitution through the "necessary and proper" 
clause 

This authority of Congress was recognized as legitimate when Con- 
passed legislation permitting the President to prosecute World 
War II. This authority of Congress was recognized as legitimate in 
the passage of the Middle East Resolution and the Gulf of Tonkin 
Resolution. It is no less legitimate and constitutional today as em- 
bodied in this war powers resolution. 



Supplemental Views of Representatives Mailliard, Broomfield, 
Mathias, Guyer, and Vander Jagt 

We voted in committee to report this resolution because we strongly 
support the reporting and consulting provisions of the legislation, al- 
though we have equally strong reservations over the operating pro- 
visions. In our opinion the House should have the opportunity to de- 
bate the resolution. 

It is our hope that as the House works its will, the Members will 
carefully scrutinize section 4 (b) and (c). In our opinion, section 4(b) 
is dangerous and perhaps unconstitutional. It would unwisely put into 
law a provision whereby the failure of the Congress to act could force 
Presidential action with major national and international implica- 
tions. Specifically, section 4(b) requires that within 120 calendar days 
after a report is submitted or required to be submitted pursuant to 
section 3, the President shall terminate any commitment and remove 
any enlargement of U.S. Armed Forces with respect to which such 
report was submitted, unless the Congress enacts a declaration of war 
or a specific authorization for the use of U.S. Armed Forces. In our 
opinion, the Congress ought to exercise its powers in a positive way 
and not have major consequences ensue from the inaction of the 
Congress. 

There are several objections to terminating the President's authority 
in this manner. Recognizing that the war powers are shared by the 
President and the Congress, the President — to cite one example — ob- 
viously has the authority to commit U.S. Armed Forces stationed 
overseas to hostilities in order that they might protect themselves from 
attack or threat of imminent attack. We doubt that the Congress can 
consitutionally terminate the President's authority to protect the 
Armed Forces. We further doubt that the Congress can constitution- 
ally terminate the President's authority by a failure to act, as pro- 
vided for by section 4(b). 

This section appears to be as unwise as it may be unconstitutional. 
Section 4(b) could require the disengagement of our Armed Forces 
even in the face of a continuing attack. It could destroy an adversary's 
incentive to reach an early settlement of a dispute, since he surely 
would hope that the Congress — by failure to act or otherwise — would 
compel the President to disengage U.S. Armed Forces. 

We should also consider the constitutionality of section 4(c). which 
would permit the Congress by a concurrent resolution to require the 
President to disengage U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities. We have 
no problem with the policy envisioned in section 4(c) ; namely that in 
exercising a shared constitutional power a majority of both Houses 

(31) 



32 



of Congress should have the power to require the disengagement of 
Armed Forces committed to hostilities by the President without con- 
gressional approval. 

"We would, however, call attention to the constitutional question of 
whether a concurrent resolution, not requiring the approval of the 
President, would be binding upon the President. 

William S. Mailliard, 
William S. Broomfield, 
Robert B. (Bob) Mathias, 
Texxysox Guyer. 
Guy Vaxder Jagt. 



Supplemental Views of Representatives Buchanan and TTiialen 

TVe concur that there is great need for war powers legislation. Con- 
gress must possess the means by which it can act on the question of 
placing U.S. Armed Forces in combat. House Joint Resolution 542 
goes a long way toward providing such a mechanism. 

Nevertheless, the language in section 4(b) troubles us. It permits 
the exercise of congressional will through inaction. It is our opinion 
that in order to fulfill its constitutional responsibility, Congress must 
act, whether it be in a positive or negative manner. 

Therefore, during the committee's markup of the resolution, we 
supported replacing the committee's language in section 4(b) with an 
amendment similar to the following : 

Not later than one hundred twenty days after the receipt of 
the report of the President provided for in section 3 of this 
Act, the Congress, by a declaration of war or by the enact- 
ment within such period of a bill or resolution appropriate 
to the purpose, shall either approve, ratify, confirm, and au- 
thorize the continuation of the action taken by the President 
and reported to the Congress, or shall disapprove, in which 
case the President shall terminate any commitment and re- 
move any enlargements of the United States Armed Forces 
with respect to which such report was submitted. 

We shall offer this amendment during floor debate on House Joint 
Resolution 542. On an issue which may involve the death of thousands 
of Americans, we cannot delude ourselves that no action at all is an 
appropriate response. Rather, each Member of Congress should de- 
clare his views — through a "yes" or "no" vote — when the President 
commits our Armed Forces to combat or substantially enlarges our 
military presence abroad. Passage of our amendment will afford this 
opportunity. 

John Buchanan, 
Charles W. Whalen, Jr. 

(33) 



63-970 O - 76 



Minority Views of Representatives Frelixghuysex, Derwixski, 
Thompson, axd Burke 

We are opposed to the enactment of House Joint Resolution 542. Its 
most important provisions are probably unconstitutional and certainly 
arc unwise. We strongly doubt the wisdom of attempting to draw rigid 
lines between the President and Congress in the area of warmaking 
powers. Ironically, enactment of this resolution in some respects would 
expand considerably the constitutional authority of the President, and 
in other respects would severely restrict his authority. In our opinion. 
the only appropriate way to make such far-reaching changes would 
be by an amendment to the Constitution. 

While we are in accord with the understandable desire of Members 
to assure Congress its proper role in national decisions of war and 
peace, we consider the severe restrictions which this resolution seeks to 
impose nn the authority of the President to be dangerous. Should they 
become effective, they could affect adversely important national se- 
curity interests of the United States. 

Flexibility — not the exact delimitation of powers — is a basic char- 
acteristic of the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution clearly 
had that aim in mind when they refrained from closely defining the 
responsibilities of the executive and legislative branches in the areas of 
warmaking powers. Moreover, throughout our history. Presidents have 
employed the power which that flexibility has allowed them to en- 
courage peaceful resolutions of potentially dangerous situations. 

What is most ironic is that this joint resolution, constructed as it is 
with an eye to our unfortunate experiences during the mid-19f>(Vs, 
would not have prevented our steadily deepening involvement in Viet- 
nam, had it been on the books 10 years ago. For example, there is no 
on to believe that Congress after the Gulf of Tonkin incident 

would have refused to approve Presidential action through the mech- 
anism provided in this measure. Congress at the time would have de- 
clared war, had that been requested, or we would have specifically 
authorized the use of our Armed Forces, 

(louse Joint Resolution 542 cannot give Congress foresight or wis- 
dom, and will not force an uncooperative Executive to be more forth- 
coming. In fact, it may achieve just the opposite effect. A President 
faced with a possible congressional veto of his actions might be 
tempted to circumvent Congress, lie might, for example, appeal di- 
rectly to the American people in order to force Congress to support 

him. If thai were to happen, ( 'ongre-s could be virtually excluded 

from the decisionmaking process, Moreover, House Joint Resolution 
542, which Beeks to provide a M t rip \\ ire," invoking \^t rictions on Ej 
ecutive action, tnighl well encourage a President to be less than candid 
when setting forth the circumstances and justifications for bis actions. 

Following are our views in more detail with respect to each section 

of the resolution* 

(14) 



35 



Section 2, and most of section 3, seek to insure reasonable consulta- 
tion with Congress, by requiring submission of reports to Congress by 
the President whenever he commits the U.S. forces to hostilities or 
potentially hostile situations, or when he enlarges our combat forces 
already located in foreign nations. Essentially the same provisions 
have been enacted previously by the House of Representatives in two 
preceding Congresses. Section 4(a), whieh seeks to insure prompt 
action by Congress on such reports, also is the same language as that 
already twice approved by the House. We consider these requirements 
to be entirely appropriate. 

We have reservations, however, about the wisdom, of the inclusion 
of section 3(d), language which was not contained in the resolutions 
previously approved by the House. Section 3(d) requires that the 
President communicate to Congress the estimated financial cost of any 
commitment of U.S. forces outside the United States. What point 
would there be in requiring the President to announce at the outset of 
a national security emergency his judgment as to the cost of com- 
mitting of our forces ? It may be argued that Congress needs a specific 
estimate of costs in order to help us make up our minds about whether 
or not to support the President. In our opinion, that information 
would be of no particular value to Congress but might be extremely 
revealing to an enemy. We believe that Congress would receive ade- 
quate information under the requirements of the other subsections of 
section 3, and that the advantages to be gained by hostile powers 
through the required financial disclosure would far outweigh any 
incremental benefit to Congress, 

Section 4(b) and (c) are at the heart of our objections to the resolu- 
tions. Section 4(b) provides that the President at the end of 120 days, 
without regard even to the immediate safety of our armed forces, 
must terminate any involvement of U.S. forces in hostilites outside 
the United States, and withdraw newly dispatched combat forces 
from the area of any foreign country (except for supply, replace- 
ment, repair or training deployments), unless the Congress b} T that 
time has enacted a declaration of war or "specifically" authorized the 
use of our Armed Forces. 

This effort to limit the President's power — by the failure of Con- 
gress to take affirmative action — strikes us as highly dangerous. For 
example, suppose the President were to commit troops in Europe in 
order to defend our own country? That he has such power as Com- 
mander in Chief is not challenged, but the 120-day limitation might 
make it necessary for him to withdraw troops already fully committed 
to combat. At best, the limitation could only be construed as an effort 
to circumscribe sharply his ability to continue to exercise his power. 
To avoid such a reversal of national policy, a President might hur- 
riedly escalate hostilities, to force Congress to support him, or in an 
effort to win the conflict within 120 days — or an enemy might seek to 
avoid negotiating a settlement in the belief that the President would 
soon be forced to withdraw our troops. Thus the 120-day provision 
might actually promote, rather than deter, our involvement in 
hostilities. 

Proponents may argue that in such a situation Congress would 
recognize the necessity of declaring war, or of specifically authorizing 
the use of troops. As a practical matter, however, Congress does not 



36 



always move quickly and a legislative deadlock might develop. More- 
over, in our opinion it is highly undesirable for Congress, through its 
own inaction, to be able to determine whether a course of Presidential 
action should l>e continued. 

The manifold constitutional and national security problems created 
by the 120-day provision of section 4(b) are compounded by section 
4(c). This section provides that hostilities and deployments may be 
terminated by Congress alone at any time within the 130-day period. 
by means of a concurrent resolution having no force of law. 

If the Commander in Chief, acting within his constitutional au- 
thority, orders our forces to deploy or to engage in hostilities, Con- 
gress may affect such action if it wishes, but necessarily must do so 
through use of its constitutionally granted powers. By seeking to 
provide that a concurrent resolution shall have the force of law, we are 
embarking on an extremely dangerous, and probably unconstitutional 
course of action. 

There may be cases in which Congress has specifically authorized 
hostilities or deployments by constitutional means other than a dec- 
laration of war. Under Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution, au- 
thority granted by any bill, order or resolution may be repealed or 
amended only through the same process; once Congress has given its 
consent to legislation it may not be withdrawn unilaterally by the 
Congress with less than a two-thirds vote. 

Section 5 is another example of the difficulty of trying to establish 
rigid procedures where, in fact, flexibility is required. During com- 
mittee consideration it was clear that the practical effects of the time 
requirements were not adequately explored. For example, the question 
was raised, if the beginning of the last 45 days of the 120-day period 
coincided with the end of a Congress, would be the 15 days for commit- 
tee consideration be binding upon the next Congress? A related ques- 
tion was whether Congress would be able to organize quickly enough 
to meet the deadline. These questions, in our opinion, were not an- 
swered satisfactorily. 

While" sections 7 and S are generally helpful, given their context, we 
strongly oppose the requirement of section !) that this resolution be 
applied retroactively to cover hostilities existing on the day of its 
enactment which were previously authorized and initiated. 

The proper and most useful role for Congress to play, in decisions 
of war and peace, cannot be developed through confrontation with the 
Executive. To function effectively, particularly in times of national 
crisis, oiii- system of government must exhibit a maximum amount of 
cooperation between the two branches executive and legislative. In 
the past such cooperation has been the means by which we have 
achieved successful policy decisions, it is to this end that we should 
!»<■ striving, douse Joinl Resolution 642 will not help Indeed, we be- 
lieve it will seriously impede the achievement of this objective. 

Peter 1 1. B. Frelinghi 'i s\ v. 
Edward J. I *erwinski, 
Vernon W. Thomson, 
J. Herbert Bi sbj . 



Letter of July 16, 1974, to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, 
From Hon. Thomas E. Morgan, Chairman, Committee on For- 
eign Affairs, and Hon. J. W. Fulbright, Chairman, Committee 
on Foreign Relations 

Committee on Foreign Affairs, 

House of Representatives, 
Washington, D.C., July 16, 197 A. 
Hon. Henry A. Kissinger, 
Secretary of State, 
Department oj State, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Secretary: We are writing to you concerning implemen- 
tation of Public Law 93-148, the War Powers Resolution. As you 
know, this legislation established by statute the requirements and 
procedures to be followed to ensure the exercise by the Congress of 
its constitutional responsibilities concerning any decision to involve 
the United States Forces in hostilities. We believe that the effective 
and diligent implementation of P.L. 93-148 can remove from con- 
tention an area which has been a subject of strain between the Exec- 
utive Branch and the Congress in recent years. 

Because the statutory mechanisms for implementation of the pro- 
cedures set out in the law are activated in the first instance by the 
reporting system mandated in Section 4, we would like to know what 
arrangements have been made within the Executive Branch to ensure 
full and timely compliance. Specifically, we would like to know which 
responsible official within the Executive Branch has been designated as 
the "action officer" with respect to the Section 4 reporting require- 
ments. Moreover, if the designated person is a civilian official such 
as the Legal Advisor of the Department of State, we would like to 
know what arrangements have been made for coordination with the 
pertinent elements in the military chain of command to ensure that 
he has full and immediate access to all information required to be re- 
ported to the Congress under the law. 

We also believe that it may be useful for staff members of the 
Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on 
Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives to meet with officials 
of the Executive Branch designated by you for purposes of discussing 
the details of those implementation arrangements which require care- 
ful coordination and cooperation between the Congress and the 
Executive. 

Sincerely, 

Thomas E. Morgan. 

J. W. Fulbright. 

(37) 



Letter of September 7, 1974, to Hon. Thomas E. Morgan, Chair- 
man, Committee on Foreign Affairs, From Secretary of State 
Henry A. Kissinger 

The Secretary of State, 
Washington, B.C., September 7, 1974. 
Hon. Thomas E. Morgan, 
( hairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, 
House oj Representatives. 

Dear Mr. Chairman: I appreciate the suggestions made in your 
letter of July 16 concerning implementation of the War Powers Reso- 
lution (P.L. 93-148). I am taking this matter up with the Secretary 
of Defense and will be back in touch with you as soon as our plan- 
are developed. 

Best regards, 

Henry A. Kissinger. 
(38) 



Letter of October 7, 1974, to Hon. Thomas E. Morgan, Chairman, 
Committee on Foreign Affairs, From Secretary of State Henry 
A. Kissinger 

The Secretary of State, 
Washington, October 7, 1974- 
Hon. Thomas E. Morgan, 
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, 
House oj Representatives. 

Dear Mr. Chairman: On July 16 you wrote to me regarding the 
implementation of the War Powers Resolution. In particular, you 
asked what arrangements had been made within the Executive 
Branch to insure "full and timely compliance" with the reporting 
requirement of Section 4 of the Resolution. I am pleased to inform 
you that since my September 7 letter to you on this matter, Secretary 
Schlesinger and I have agreed that our respective legal counsels will 
be jointly responsible for bringing immediate^ to our attention cases 
where it would be appropriate for us to recommend to the President 
that a report be submitted to the Congress pursuant to Section 4 of 
the War Powers Resolution. 

With regard to the question of access to information, I understand 
that several months ago the Office of the Secretary of Defense in- 
stituted an arrangement whereby the Legal Adviser to the Chairman 
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff informs the Department of Defense 
General Counsel of all troop deployment actions routed through the 
Chairman's office which could raise a question as to whether a report 
to the Congress is required. In implementation of that arrangement 
a written instruction was promulgated establishing a War Powers 
Reporting System within the Operations Directorate of the JCS. 
Arrangements have been made for this Department's Legal Adviser 
to receive the same information as is supplied to the DOD General 
Counsel. Consultations between the two departments' legal counsels 
will be arranged as needed. 

George Aldrich, the Acting Legal Adviser, would be pleased to 
arrange for further discussions of this matter with you or with members 
of your staff if you so desire. 
Best regards, 

Henry A. Kissinger. 
(39) 



Report Dated April 4, 1975, From President Gerald R. Ford to 
Hon. Carl Albert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, in 
Compliance With Section 4(a)(2) of the War Powers Resolution, 
Relative to the Transport of Refugees From Danang 

April 4, 1975. 
Hon. Carl Albert, 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, 
Peking, China 
(C/O Ambassador Bush). 

As you know, last Saturday I directed United States participation 
in an international humanitarian relief effort to transport refugees 
from Danang and other seaports to safer areas farther south in 
Vietnam. The United States has been joined in this humanitarian 
effort by a number of other countries who are offering people, supplies 
and vessels to assist in this effort. This effort was undertaken in 
response to urgent appeals from the Government of the Republic of 
Vietnam because of the extremely grave nature of the circumstances 
involving the lives of hundreds of thousands of refugees. This situation 
has been brought about by large-scale violations of the Agreement 
Ending the War and Restoring the Peace in Vietnam by the North 
Vietnamese who have been Conducting massive attacks on the northern 
and central provinces of South Vietnam. 

In accordance with my desire to keep the Congress fully informed 
on this matter, and taking note of the provision of section 4(a)(2) of 
the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), I wish to report to 
you concerning one aspect of United States participation in the refugee 
evacuation effort. Because of the large number of refugees and the 
overwhelming dimensions of the task, I have ordered U.S. Naval 
els to assist in this effort, including Amphibious Task Group 76.8 
with 12 embarked helicopters and approximately 700 Marines. These 
naval vessels have been authorized to approach the coast of South 
Vietnam to pick up refugees and U.S. nationals, and transport them 
to safety. Murine- are being detailed to vessels participating in the 
rescue mi— ion. The first vessel entered South Vietnam territorial 
waters at 0400 a.m. EDT on April 3, 1975. 

Although these forces are equipped for combat within the meaning 
of section 4(a)(2) of Public Law 93 14S, their sole mission is to assist 
in the evacuation including the maintenance of order on board I he 
i 3 engaged in that t ask. 

A stated above, the purpose of the introduction of United States 
Naval vessels into Vietnamese waters is to assist in an international 
humanitarian effort involving vessels of several nations, including 

both military and civilian craft. The United States participation in 

this effort Inclades the charter <>f commercial vessels, the use of 

Military Sealift Command vessels with civilian crew-, as well as 

United States naval vessels with military crews. This effort is being 

undertaken pursuant to the President's constitutional authority as 

(40) 



41 

Commander-in-Chief and Chief Executive in the conduct of foreign 
relations and pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as 
amended, which authorizes humanitarian assistance to refugees, 
civilian war casualties and other persons disadvantaged by hostilities 
or conditions relating to hostilities in South Vietnam. 

You will appreciate, I am sure, my difficulty in telling you precisely 
how long United States forces may be needed in this effort. Our 
present estimate, however, is that this operation may involve the 
presence of United States Naval vessels in Vietnamese waters for a 
period of at least several weeks. 

Gerald R. Ford. 



Report Dated April 12, 1975, From President Gerald R Ford to 
Hon. Carl Albert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, in 
Compliance With Section 4(a)(2) of the War Powers Resolu- 
tion, Relative to the Evacuation of U.S. Nationals From Cam- 
bodia 

The White House, 
Washington, B.C., April 12, 1975. 
Hon. Carl Albert, 
Spi aker, UJS. House of Ri pn sentatives, Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Speaker: As you and other members of Congress were 
advised, in view of circumstances in Cambodia, the United States 
had certain contingency plans to utilize United States Armed Forces 
to assure the safe evacuation of U.S. Nationals from that country. 
On Friday, 1 1 April 1975, the Khmer Communists forces had ruptured 
Government of the Khmer Republic (GKR) defense lines to the 
north, northwest and east of Phnom Penh and were within mortar 
range of Pochentong Airfield and the outskirts of Phnom Penh. In 
view of this deteriorating military situation, and on the recommenda- 
tions of the American Ambassador there, I ordered U.S. military 
forces to proceed with the planned evacuation out of consideration 
for the safety of U.S. citizens. 

In accordance with my desire that the Congress be fully informed 
on this matter, and taking note of Section 4 of the War Powers 
Resolution (P.L. 93-148), I wish to report to you that the first ele- 
ments of the U.S. forces entered Cambodian airspace at 8:34 P.M. 
EDT on 11 April. Military forces included 350 ground combat troops 
of the U.S. Marines, 36 helicopters, and supporting tactical air and 
command and control elements. The Marines were deployed from 
helicopters to assure the security of helicopter landing zone within 
the city of Phnom Penh. The first helicopter landed at approximately 
10:00 P.M. EDT 11 April 1975, and the last evacuees and ground 
security force Marines departed the Cambodian landing zone at ap- 
proximately 12:20 A.M. on 12 April 1975. The last elements of the 
force to leave received hostile recoilless rifle fire. There was no firing 
by U.S. forces at any time during the operation. No U.S. Armed 
Force- personnel were killed, wounded or missing, and there were no 
casualties among the American evacuees. 

Although these forces were equipped for combat within the mean- 
ing of Section 4(a)(2) of Public Law 93-148, their mission was to 
effect the evacuation of U.S. Nationals. Present information indicates 
that a total of 82 U.S. citizens were evacuated and that the task force 
we also able t<> accommodate 35 third country nationals and 159 
Cambodians including employees of the U.S. Government. 

The operation was ordered and conducted pursuant to the Presi- 
dent'^ Constitutional executive power and authority as Commander- 

in-( 'hief of I r.S. Armed Forces. 

I am BUM yOU share with me my pride in the Armed Forces of the 

United States and my thankfulness that the operation was conducted 

wit hoi 1 1 incident . 

Sincerely, 

Gerald K. Foun. 
(42) 



Report Dated April 30, 1975, From President Gerald R. Ford to 
Hon. Carl Albert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, 
in Compliance With Section 4 of the War Powers Resolution, 
Relative to the Evacuation of U.S. Citizens and Others From 
South Vietnam 

The White House, 
Washington, April SO, 1975. 
The Honorable the Speaker, 
U.S. House of Representatives, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Speaker: On April 4, 1975, I reported that U.S. naval 
vessels had been ordered to participate in an international humani- 
tarian relief effort to transport refugees and U.S. nationals to safety 
from Danang and other seaports in South Vietnam. This effort was 
undertaken in response to urgent appeals from the Government of 
South Vietnam and in recognition of the large-scale violations by 
the North Vietnamese of the Agreement Ending the War and restor- 
ing the Peace in Vietnam. 

In the days and weeks that followed, the massive Xorth Vietna- 
mese attacks continued. As the forces of the Government of South 
Vietnam were pushed further back toward Saigon, we began a pro- 
gressive withdrawal of U.S. citizens and their dependents in South 
Vietnam, together with foreign nationals whose lives were in jeopardy. 
On April 28, the defensive lines to the northwest and south of 
Saigon were breached. Tan Son Nhut Airfield and Saigon came under 
increased rocket attack and ,for the first time received artillery fire, 
NVA forces were approaching within mortar and anti-aircraft mis- 
sile range. The situation at Tan Son Nhut Airfield deteriorated to 
the extent that it became unusable. Crowd control on the airfield 
was breaking down and the collapse of the Government forces within 
Saigon appeared imminent. The situation presented a direct and im- 
minent threat to the remaining U.S. citizens and their dependents in 
and around Saigon. 

On the recommendation of the American Ambassador there, I 
ordered U.S. military forces to proceed by means of rotary wing 
aircraft with an emergency final evacuation out of consideration for 
the safety of U.S. citizens. 

In accordance with my desire to keep the Congress fully informed 
on this matter, and taking note of the provision of section 4 of the 
War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), I wish to report to 
you that at about 1 :00 A.M. EDT, April 29, 1975, U.S. forces entered 
South Vietnam airspace. A force o,f 70 evacuation helicopters and Xih) 
Marines evacuated about 1400 U.S. citizens, together with approxi- 
mately 5500 third country nationals and South Vietnamese, from 
landing zones in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy. Saigon, and the 
Defense Attache Office at Tan Son Nhut Airfield" The last elements 
of the ground security force departed Saigon at 7:46 P.M. EDT 

(43) 



44 

April 29. 1975. Two crew members of a Navy search and rescue heli- 
copter are missing at sea. There are no other known U.S. casualties 
from this operation, although two U.S. Marines on regular duty in 
the compound of the Defense Attache Office at Tan Son Nhut Air- 
field had been killed on the afternoon (EDT) of April 28. 1975, by 
rocket attacks into a refugee staging area. U.S. tighter aircraft pro- 
vided protective air cover for this operation, and for the withdrawal 
by water of a few Americans from Can Tho. and in one instance sup- 
pressed North Vietnamese anti-aircraft artillery firing upon evacu- 
ation helicopters as they departed. The ground security forces on 
occasion returned tire during the course of the evacuation operation. 

The operation was ordered and conducted pursuant to the Presi- 
dent's Constitutional executive power and his authority as Comman- 
der-in-Chief of U.S. Armed Forces. 

The United States Armed Forces performed a very difficult mis- 
sion most successfully. Their exemplary courage and discipline are 
deserving of the nation's highest gratitude. 
Sincerely. 

Gerald R. Ford. 



Report Dated May 15, 1975, From President Gerald R. Ford to 
Hon. Carl Albert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, in 
Compliance With Section 4(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolu- 
tion, Relative to the Mayaguez Incident 

The White House, 

Washington, B.C., May 15. 1975. 
The Honorable the Speaker, 
U.S. House of Representatives, 
Wash ington, D . C. 

Dear Mr. Speaker : On 12 May 1975. I was advised that the SS 
Mayaguez, a merchant vessel of United States registry enronte from 
Hong Kong to Thailand with a U.S. citizen crew, was fired upon, 
stopped, boarded, and seized by Cambodian naval patrol boats of the 
Armed Forces of Cambodia in international waters in the vicinity of 
Poulo Wai Island. The seized vessel was then forced to proceed to 
Koh Tang Island where it was required to anchor. This hostile act 
was in clear violation of international law. 

In view of this illegal and dangerous act, I ordered, as you have 
been previously advised. United States military forces to conduct 
the necessary reconnaissance and to be ready to respond if diplomatic 
efforts to secure the return of the vessel and its personnel were not 
successful. Two United States reconnaissance aircraft in the course 
of locating the Mayaguez sustained minimal damage from small fire- 
arms. Appropriate demands for the return of the Mayaguez and its 
crew were made, both publicly and privately, without success. 

In accordance with my desire that the Congress be informed on this 
matter and taking note of Section 4(a) (1) of the War Powers Resolu- 
tion, I wish to report to you that at about 6 :20 A.M., 13 May. pursuant 
to my instructions to prevent the movement of the Mayaguez into a 
mainland port, U.S. aircraft fired warning shots across the bow of 
the ship and gave visual signals to small craft approaching the ship. 
Subsequently, in order to stabilize the situation and in an attempt to 
preclude removal of the American crew of the Mayaguez to the main- 
land, where their rescue would be more difficult. I directed the United 
States Armed Forces to isolate the island and interdict any movement 
between the ship or the island and the mainland, and to prevent move- 
ment of the ship itself, while still taking all possible care to prevent 
loss of life or iniury to the U.S. captives. During the evening of 13 
May, a Cambodian patrol boat attempting to leave the island disre- 
garded aircraft warnings and was sunk. Thereafter, two other Cam- 
bodian patrol craft were destroyed and four others were damaged and 
immobilized. One boat, suspected of having some U.S. captives aboard : 
succeeded in reaching Kompong Som after efforts to turn it around 
without iniury to the passengers failed. 

Our continued objective in this operation was the rescue of the 
captured American crew along with the retaking of the ship Mavaauez. 
For that purpose, I ordered late this afternoon an assault by United 
States Marines on the island of Koh Tang to search out and rescue 

(45) 



46 

such Americans as might still be held there, and I ordered retaking 
of the Mayagvez by other marines boarding from the destroyer escort 
Holt. In addition to continued fighter and gunship coverage of the 
Koh Tang area, these marine activities were supported by tactical 
aircraft from the Coral Sea. striking the military airfield at Ream 
and other military targets in the area of Kompong Som in order to 
prevent reinforcement or support from the mainland of the Cambo- 
dian force.- detaining the American vessel and crew. 

At approximately 9 :00 P.M. EDT on 14 May, the Mayagucz was 
retaken by United States forces. At approximately 11 :30 P.M., the 
entire crew of the Mayagvez was taken aboard the Wilson. U.S. forces 
have begun the process of disengagement and withdrawal. 

This operation was ordered and conducted pursuant to the Presi- 
dent's constitutional Executive power and his authority as Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces. 
Sincerely, 

Gerald R. Ford. 



jUiii